WebCT Vista leads e-learning standards effort

October 28, 2003

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 27, 2003 – WebCT, provider of the world’s most flexible and widely used higher education e-learning solutions, today announced that WebCT Vista(tm) has become the first major higher-ed e-learning technology to earn SCORM 1.2 certification, the highest level of conformance with the Shareable Content Object Reference Model learning standard. This certification ensures the academic enterprise system interacts seamlessly with the most advanced authoring tools and publisher content.

SCORM is a vendor-neutral standard that enables sharing of highly interactive content across courses, departments, disciplines, institutions, agencies and industries around the world. WebCT this week will demonstrate its SCORM 1.2 compliance here at Plugfest 8, the latest in a series of semiannual industry events designed to refine the evolving open architecture specification.

“We recognize the important role WebCT plays in both the standards and higher-ed communities. WebCT Vista is a good illustration of how WebCT understands the needs of the higher-ed market. Vendors like WebCT, with their high percentage of the market and demonstrated industry leadership, are building a thriving e-learning community for vendor-neutral non-proprietary content sharing,” said Paul Jesukiewicz, director of the ADL Co-Lab for the SCORM initiative. “The company is working to adhere to SCORM and also enhance it with functionality that is important to the higher education marketplace. As a result, SCORM learning objects become eminently more useful not only in a self-paced environment but also in an instructor-led environment.”

SCORM 1.2 is the latest version of the U.S. Department of Defense Advanced Distance Learning (ADL) initiative’s standard for content portability across different vendors’ e-learning systems. Since WebCT Vista 2.1 fully complies with SCORM 1.2, customers don’t need to painstakingly code or customize their applications to interact with WebCT Vista. Now, because WebCT Vista is a SCORM certified product, it is simple for course designers to incorporate SCORM 1.2-compliant courses into their programs or create learning objects using SCORM-compliant authoring tools. In addition, SCORM lets WebCT Vista users experience full interactivity of the SCORM learning objects, including embedded quizzes and progression through a sequence of learning objects.

SCORM 1.2-compliant authoring tools include these WebCT PowerLinks Network partners’ products: Macromedia Breeze, Flash, Dreamweaver and Authorware; Trivanits Lectora; Impatica OnCue; and Giunti’s LearnExact.

“Reusable learning objects have huge potential to unleash economical and effective e-learning programs around the world,” said Kevin Reeve, manager and senior instructional designer at Utah State University. “Lack of universal standard compliance is one impediment to their promise, but WebCT is turning the tide by aggressively engineering its products to all of the most important learning technology standards, of which SCORM is probably number one.”

WebCT exceeds SCORM 1.2 standards with functionality from 1.3 WebCT has conformed to SCORM 1.2, LMS-RTE3 through a new SCORM Module Tool in WebCT Vista. The module tool adds features that support all the mandatory and optional data elements as defined by the SCORM 1.2 standard and for the first time helps transform self-paced content into courses that support instructor-led education. WebCT Vista lets users customize navigation controls for SCORM objects, providing consistent navigation across various SCORM objects. Because WebCT Vista 2.1 has been designed to help provide consistent navigation and delivery control to the designers, WebCT’s support for SCORM 1.2 has in fact realized some of the functionality of the planned SCORM 1.3 standard.

“Standards compliance is important to advance e-learning to its full potential. Full potential means easily sharing courses across any course management or academic enterprise system or using the authoring tool that best suits your educational purpose,” said Carol Vallone, WebCT president and CEO. “WebCT has taken a leadership role in helping to define standards that impact the higher education community, and I’m pleased that WebCT’s content strategy
empowers content creators to develop and deliver more interactive learning materials that can be shared in a non-proprietary learning environment that complies with industry standards.”

About WebCT
WebCT has set the standard for e-learning systems in higher education. Based in Lynnfield, Mass., WebCT provides a highly flexible e-learning environment that empowers institutions across the educational spectrum with the ability to achieve their unique objectives. Thousands of colleges and universities around the world – from community colleges to large university consortia – are using WebCT to expand the boundaries of teaching and learning. For more information, please visit www.webct.com.

WebCT Vista leads e-learning standards effort, earning SCORM 1.2 certification